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and send out a great number; but, if the Spirit of God be not in them, the children of God are sure to forsake them as soon as God discovers what they are; for such generally ridicule the Spirit's works. However, "there is a spirit in man, and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth him understanding;" and without this they never can describe the experience of the just, nor understand the spiritual meaning of God's word. A school may teach human wisdom, the wisdom of the world, and every maxim of a worldly spirit; but cannot give inspiration; "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him," 1 Cor. ii. 12, 14; and so they are to you, sir.
And, when such graceless macaronies as you mount a rostrum, you cannot keep your reputation from sinking before simple people, unless you blind their eyes, obscure the gospel, and ridicule the spiritual labourers in it; and, being destitute of the Spirit, you are obliged to cry out, Beware of spiritualizing and allegorizing the scriptures.'
Reader, "all scripture is given by inspiration of God." "My word," says the Saviour, "is spirit and life;" and if it were not it could not feed the souls of the saints, for they are spiritual. The church of God in the liberty of the gospel, and the children of the flesh in the bondage of the
law, are set forth by two allegories. Therefore, whenever you hear a man crying out against these things, you may call him Ignoramus, or Antinovice, and have done with him, for he knows nothing of the matter.
Who the author of that book is, that you produced in the pulpit, and have quoted so long a paragraph from, I know not. It is no book of mine; therefore I shall leave the ridiculed author to defend his own testimony, as I am determined to do mine.
For my part, I think it would become you better to have entered the list, and detected the man from the press; and so have left the church of God at large to judge of the matter; which is a better way than culling out a few unconnected sentences, and putting your own constructions on them. For a man that can hide his profession as a methodist priest, in order to creep into the establishment in disguise, is a man that would do or say any thing; this is not giving one's self to the ministry of the word and prayer; "Wherein a man is called, therein let him abide with God," says Paul, not run away.
: Our Saviour and his disciples never went to the schools of the doctors for human scraps; nor to the high priest for their credentials. They stood for their privileges as Jews; used the temple and the synagogues till they were turned out; and then they preached wherever an opportunity offered, and a door was opened, and opposed every
one that opposed the truth. If you have abilities to overthrow that author's arguments, do as the apostles did, confute and expose him, for the good of the church; and let his foily be made manifest, as the folly of Jannes and Jambres was. If you do not, I shall think that you have belied him, and therefore are afraid to face him. Your conclusion from this author, whomsoever he be, is this:
So that good works are totally unnecessary, though the Lord has so highly expressed himself upon the subject with respect to the obedience ‘of his people, with respect to their holiness, ' with respect to their life and conversation. We are informed that Enoch was pleasing to his God; that in his generation he was a perfect ́ ́ man; that he walked with God, and was not, for 'God took him. We are informed that, with re'spect to our obedience, it is that which brings peace and comfort to our souls; for what re'joicing can any man have but from God?'
If this author has declared from the press that good works are totally unnecessary, he is no more a minister of Jesus Christ than you are, who talk so much about good works, but never perform any. He by words, and you by deeds, have both contradicted the word of God, and the testimony that I have received from him. The scriptures declare that a believer is God's workmanship, "created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained, that we should walk in them." That the scriptures are given to influence
the man of God, and furnish him unto all good works.
A minister of Christ is to affirm constantly, "that they which have believed in God be careful to maintain good works: these things are good and profitable unto men." And again, And again, "Let ours," says God, that is, let our family "also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful," Tit. iii. 8. 14. Here let it be observed: First, That a believer is created anew in Christ Jesus unto good works. Secondly, That the grace of God, that bringeth salvation, teacheth men to deny ungodliness and worldly lust, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly in the world. Thirdly, That ministers are to enforce these things, for they are good and profitable unto men. And, Fourthly, God says, "Let them maintain good
works for necessary uses."
Thus all good works spring from grace and a new creation in Christ Jesus; they are profitable unto men, and they are to be performed for necessary uses. These uses, in my judgment, are these; First, To prove to the world that a man's faith is of a genuine, purifying quality; "I will shew thee my faith by my works." Secondly, To convince and stop the mouths of gainsayers; your light shine before men, that they may see your good works." Thirdly, They are profitable unto men; acts of charity relieve their wants, and sometimes convince them of the error of their ways. Fourthly, "Herein is Father glorified,
that ye bring forth much fruit." And, lastly, The wicked will be condemned at the great day by the fruits of faith; as Noah, by the obedience of faith, condemned the old world: "I was an hungred, and ye fed me; thirsty, and ye gave me drink; a stranger, and ye took me in," &c. &c. These shall go away into everlasting life, and the wicked into everlasting punishment.
The man that denies these things is no minister of Jesus Christ. For my part, I can truly say, it is a grief to me to see evil workers get up into a pulpit, and blind people's eyes with a loud cry about good works, while they only use the words as a cloak to their villany, under which they contradict the gospel, and communicate that envy and prejudice to the souls of the simple which Solomon says "slays the silly one." This is conveying death under the word, good; God tells us to walk in good works, not in slander: but you say and do not; for I think I may defy you to prove, or bring one living witness who can, that any good works have ever been performed by
Creeping to the heels, and sculking into the pockets, of old widows, is no part of the ministry that I have received. "It is not expedient doubtless for me to glory;" but, as Paul says, are bold, I am bold also." I have no objection to be weighed in an even balance, not only with you, but with all the evangelical combination who have set themselves against me.